You've worked hard to build your business’ reputation from the ground up—the LAST thing you want to do is accidentally offend a potential customer.
It might seem trivial, but what you say is just as important as what you do in your business.
With that, here 6 Phrases You Should Never Use With a Potential Customer...
1. “Crickets.” (A.K.A. not saying anything)
Not saying anything—letting phone calls go unanswered and messages unreturned—is unforgivable.
Potential customers contact you because they have a need that they believe you can help them resolve—they’re extending the olive branch of business.
If you don’t reply to that contact quickly and courteously, you’re costing your business money and damaging your reputation in the process.
2. “I’m busy right now.“
You’re busy?—that’s nice. So are your potential customers!
When you tell a potential customer that you’re too busy to talk, you’re telling them that their problem isn’t worth your attention.
And that means your business isn’t worth their money.
Take the time to invest in a responsive and courteous sales staff or an answering service that can take calls if you’re unavailable.
3. “Can you call me back?
Potential customers don’t want to work with someone who’s lazy, so never, ever put the responsibility of a call back on them.
If you’re too busy to talk this second and you don’t have an answering service set up, be sure to tell potential customers exactly when you’ll call them back so they can expect your call.
4. “I don't know.”
“I don’t know” is not the language of a confident professional.
If you can't answer the question of a potential customer, that’s fine, but don’t claim pure ignorance.
Instead, offer a thoughtful reply that promises an answer in the near future.
“You know, Don, I’m not sure how long it will take to get someone to your house offhand, but if you give me ten minutes, I’ll look into it and call you back with an answer.”
In the eyes of potential customers, “uh-huh” translates to “I’m not really listening.”
You want to appear as an engaged, thoughtful listener to potential customers whether you’re speaking in person or on the phone. If you don’t, people are going to take their business elsewhere.
6. “That's not really my job.”
Potential customers need solutions, not excuses—don’t make them jump through hoops to get the answers they need.
Pretend for a moment that you run a plumbing business, and one of your plumbers is busy helping a customer install a new toilet. In the middle of the install, the customer decides to ask your employee a question about billing.
Your plumber could say, “Yeah, you know...that’s not really my job so I can’t help you there.”
Or your plumber could say, “That’s a great question...because I don’t normally handle billing, I’m going to call my boss and check with him. I’ll get you an answer before I leave today.”
Which plumber do you think the customer will recommend to their friends?
When it comes to working in the home services industry, saying the right thing can be as important as doing the right thing. With that in mind, make a conscious effort to eliminate these six phrases from your vocabulary—your wallet and your reputation will thank you in the long term.